Citizen JournalismYoung women in rural Zimbabwe with access to the internet ( Image by Women Coalition in Zim,babwe)
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Any kind of internet throttling is a direct threat to the right to access information and the freedom to communicate ideas.Mashonaland Central, Bindura, recently experienced internet throttling on the weekend of July 8–9.

Bindura Town and its outskirts within a 60-kilometre radius did not have stable internet connections or network s signalsfor Econet Wireless Zimbabwe.POTRAZ, the data authority, and service providers must adopt a system of accountability and communicate service failures because people and economies depend on broadband digital services.

ZNCJ takes the position that the network disturbances or internet throttling affected communication in the province.Residents have reported missing crucial appointments and access to information.

Residents Unavailability of internet is affected in Mashonaland Central Province.

• Communication

•Disturbed workflows

• Disturbed the freelance ecosystem

• Disturbed productivity for start-ups

While it is premature to attribute political reasons to censoring voices of dissent, the problem with internet connectivity in Mashonaland Central must be addressed to restore the digital wellbeing of the affected communities.

Many have reported that the coincidence of network throttling was targeted to breakdown communication ahead of a political rally by an opposition party.

Politics aside, the slow down in internet connection affected the transport ecosystem for daily and first time commuters.

For whatever reason that has been reserved, POTRAZ has not released a communiqué to inform the users.In the case of Bindura, Internet throttling has been dubbed a ploy to censor and exclude youths from engaging in socio-political discourse on social media.

ZNCJ, as a digital rights watchdog, maintains its position against internet throttling and any kind of shutdown as an infringement on the right to access information.

The majority of Zimbabweans living within the country and abroad depend on the internet for their daily information and communication needs.

Counting the losses

The gig economy

The Unavailability of the internet has negatively affected the digital gig economy. Zimbabwe has seen a surge in digital service providers, and the freelance world of work is expanding.

Without the internet, freelancers have been unable to communicate with clients and complete tasks. Since we are part of the global community, clients are now found all over the world.

Financial services

The majority of Zimbabweans rely on internet banking for financial transactions. The Unavailability of online pay gates and online financial services due to the Internet throttling, a considerable number of financial transactions could not be completed.


The world of work has migrated online. More than 60 percent of media companies do not have permanent offices, and all their work is done online.Zimbabwe has more people connecting with clients and their services via social media.

The Facebook and WhatsApp marketplaces were not functional due to the unavailability of the internet.

Without the internet, productivity was affectedamong small digital start-up companies, where meetings could not be held, communication was disturbed, and services could not be rendered.


Digital Poverty is a cross-cutting issue affecting various social groups in Zimbabwe. Internet throttling and shutdowns are worsening a dire situation, and they are regressive towards achieving a democratic society.

Unequal distribution of internetbroadband service in Zimbabwe is infringing on the rights to access information, with many people excluded from participating in socio-economic discourse.The responsible data authority and service providers must also be

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By Richard Kawazi

Richard Kawazi is a media policy and tech enthusiast, also a multi award winning journalist with a keen interest in Experimental Media Development.

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